Dear and Booth get Walker Cup nod
SCOTTISH pair Wallace Booth and Gavin Dear have been confirmed in Great Britain and Ireland's Walker Cup team to face the USA in Pennsylvania later this month.
The R&A, which named a ten-man team early last month, confirmed the line-up yesterday and captain Colin Dalgleish believes it is strong enough to give the hosts a run for their money at Merion on 12 and 13 September.
"We have picked a strong team for what will undoubtedly be a tough match," said Dalgleish. "Each player selected has demonstrated their ability to perform at the very highest levels of the amateur game, but, crucially, they have also bonded extremely well."
As part of advance preparations for the match, the squad went to Valderrama Golf Club in southern Spain recently and Dalgleish has been impressed with the way the team have gelled.
He added: "I'm convinced that we go to Merion as a tight-knit team with the combination of experience and talent necessary to give ourselves every chance of returning with the trophy."
Dear, 25, has been ranked as high as 12 in the world as an amateur and was Irish Open Amateur champion this year. The Murrayshall golfer was also a member of Scotland's winning side at both this year's European Amateur Championship and last year's World Amateur Team Championship.
Winner of this year's Craigmillar Park Open, second at the Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship and a Spanish Amateur semi-finalist, Dear attended Lynn University in Florida between 2002 and 2006 and won the Dixie Amateur in 2008.
Speaking after his call-up, Dear said: "One advantage we've gained in recent years is that GBI players have become world players. Compared to our American counterparts we travel much more internationally playing lots of different golf courses.
"Although I haven't played Merion, one of my friends says it's a super course with quick and undulating greens and very thick rough. Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can play some good golf."
Comrie's Booth, 24, was also a member of Scotland's successful European Amateur team and the World event last year. He further showed his liking for team events by winning four points from a possible four for Great Britain and Ireland in the 2008 St Andrews Trophy against the Continent of Europe.
A student at Augusta State University between 2003 and 2007, Booth finished second in this year's Irish Open Amateur behind Dear, and came in a creditable third in the Scottish Champion of Champions.
Also in the team are Tommy Fleetwood of Lancashire, who won the Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship this year by eight shots in a record 16-under-par; English Amateur champion Luke Goddard; Matt Haines, who was runner-up at the St Andrews Links Trophy and Eamonn 'Stiggy' Hodgson, a past English Boys' champion.
Sam Hutsby, ranked four in the world, is the highest-ranked player on the Great Britain & Ireland squad, while Ireland's sole representative is Niall Kearney, winner of the 2009 Brabazon Trophy.
WALKER CUP LINE-UP
WALLACE BOOTH (Sco)
Date of Birth: 27/07/1985; Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 34
GAVIN DEAR (Sco)
Date of Birth: 05/06/1984; Highest ranking: 12
TOMMY FLEETWOOD (Eng)
Date of Birth: 19/01/1991; Highest ranking: 20
LUKE GODDARD (Eng)
Date of Birth: 17/04/1988; Highest ranking: 6
MATT HAINES (Eng)
Date of Birth: 01/12/1989; Highest ranking: 20
EAMONN 'STIGGY' HODGSON (Eng)
Date of Birth: 12/08/1990, Highest ranking: 11
SAM HUTSBY (Eng)
Date of Birth: 29/10/1988; Highest ranking: 4
NIALL KEARNEY (Ire)
Date of Birth: 10/03/1988; Highest ranking: 27
CHRIS PAISLEY (Eng)
Date of Birth: 24/03/1986; Highest ranking: 16
DALE WHITNELL (Eng)
Date of Birth: 9/08/1988; Highest ranking: 8
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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